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tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis tonight a conversation with grace lee boggs, who nearly 98 years old, has affect did change. she worked alongside her husband, activist james talks. are glad you could join us. a fascinating conversation with grace lee boggs is coming up now. >> there is a saying that dr. king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i try to live my life every day
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by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminating hunger and we have work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. tavis: at almost 98 years old grace lee boggs has been a witness to so many changes, but she has also been a participant. she has learned important
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lessons she is sharing with new generations through her can tame you'd work in her home cap -- continued work in her hometown of detroit. >> i feel so sorry for people not living in detroit. detroit gives a sense of civilization in a way you do not get in a city like new york. obvious what was does not work. striving forways giant, and this is how giants fall. to have youhonored
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on this program. i am glad you are here. >> i am glad to be here. >> let me ask you what it is about detroit that makes you hopeful. aboute you so optimistic detroit's future? was a picture of the packard motor company. of rügen 38 years glass and broken concrete. -- of brokeno glass and broken concrete. it would hit and autoworker.
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in a few years because of production of cars in germany stoppedn, the plant reducing cars, and the chrysler lead went down to 2000 workers. if you through a stone -- threw a stone, it would hit a vacant lot. some people thought that was the end of everything. african-americans with that those vacant lots, and they thought, that is an opportunity for change. they began to transform the city. city that is more human, where we grow our own
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where we created our own society. point in the evolution of society is a great privilege. tavis: what do you think the future of detroit is? i think it has already provided a model for changing the world. all over to see what we are doing. people are looking for a new way of living. people understand there is something unsustainable about the way we are living. it is recognizing all the contradictions of an industrial society are coming home to roost, and we have to create something new, and we are. tavis: dr. me about the humanity
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of detroit. -- tell me about the humanity of detroit. there is so much to love about aboutt, but talk to me the people of detroit and their perseverance. detroit is a movement city. we used to think the movement was going to come from labor. the movement began to come from people. people taking charge of their neighborhoods. safety innking about terms of neighborliness rather than police.
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this transformation more important than from hunting to agriculture. how important do you think detroit has been to the nation culturally? of theere once a symbol miracle of production, and we were producing more faster. that we believe that was not unnatural, considering how important henry ford was, but that was not sustainable. in the second decade of the 21st century. in the second decade of the 20th century. those dreams are dead, but we
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are shaking the world with a new dream. tavis: what is that? food insteadr own of using trucks to bring food and using a lot of fuel. living isay of bringing the neighbor back to the hood. tavis: how did you get to detroit? >> i believed in ideas about ther and workers being secret for the future, and i learned to friendly -- to differently by being married to jimmy job -- jimmy
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boggs. >> tell me about him. the people in the south had an understanding you could make your way out of nowhere, and that is how they survived. theecame a writer because people in his community could write. advantage ofo take a bad situation and turn it into a good one. tavis: tell me about your partnership and the work you did together. >> i chased after jimmy. why would you chasing jimmy? if you asked how we got together, he would laugh and say grace got me.
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freshwas something very and very new. i came from the big apple. i have a lot of abstract ideas, and here was someone very alive in his community. it was an extraordinary experience. i want to ask about your causes. asking why you got involved in labor and what you make of the labor movement today. working for $10 a
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a lot of people back in 1940 did not make much more than $500 a or $1000 a year. in an apartment in the basement. it made me rat conscious. tavis: i get that. you come in contact because of these horrific conditions with the black community. what was your way in? >> in 1941 the black movement
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was on the march. we scared the daylights out of franklin d roosevelt, and he bade rabble to call off the march. banned discrimination, and that change the country and the world. i said, that is what i am going to do with my life. was a a philip randolph legend in chicago and in this country. since you mention randolph and fdr, can youput in compare the difficult economic
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?eriod with this under obama >> i was a student during the , and for some reason i felt it was necessary to .ecome a philosopher there were more crises of humanity. what can we do? were we just interested in jobs so we can become materialists, or did we value human values.
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i think the understanding we have to build our souls and not just the economy is going among the people, and the world needs that. tavis: this is why i love you so much. you mentioned fdr and a philip randolph and the work they did together. this week marks the 50th anniversary of the big march in detroit. you can read this online these days. speechous i have a dream , we celebrate 50 years this coming august. before king got to washington to deliver this speech, he went to detroit.
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it was in destroyed he worked it out. he used it as a testing ground. first in detroit. grace lee boggs was in the audience. >> i was an organizer. rex she was an organizer when dr. king came to detroit. 100,000 people. >> 2000 people. tavis: -- 200,000 people. tavis: i am only 48, but your memory is better than mine. >> the alabama christian movement for human rights to boycott merchants during the easter season, and
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they messed up the economy, so they jailed martin luther king. they turned fire hoses on them, and people saw that all over the and they organized a rally to protest, and only a few people showed up. clegg was an agitator in the black movement. said, we should scare the devil out of the people, so we started organizing.
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we decided to meet in churches and announce the march. pouring in from all across the state. it electrified the city, and it made a huge difference in the movement. time i get to speak in detroit, i kissed the ground in reference to what this means to the march. thee is a new one, but akin day when i would see the old --
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back in the day when i would see it we would celebrate. >> we are creating a whole new way of life. tavis: when this documentary came out, what is the evolution? movement joined the the ideal movement came from the russian revolution, and the idea was to seize power. we see the collapse of the soviet union.
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created detroit not because of theory but because circumstance provided the opportunity to do so. speaking of evolution, you had one view of martin luther king, junior, and it has shifted a little bit. what did you think then, and what do you think now. >> we were very preoccupied by tactics. have a long enough -- perspective, but when i saw the amount of violence, i recognized that he
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knew we were on the threshold of something very new. we are on the threshold of a radical spiritual activism that is really necessary. feel a little different about martin luther king in retrospect? >> i so. he called on us to realize we were on the wrong side of a revolution. it was no longer a question of tax experience it was vision. mentioned occupies spirituality. what do you make of the occupied movement?
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is many young people this the most activism they have seen in their lives. lacked vision, but that is beginning to emerge, and i think we have to provide it. how do we provide it? >> why this talkshow. >> another reason i love you. for hours.k to you at 98 you have outlived so many people you have criticized and had disagreements with in your life. do you make of that? >> i have good genes. what i do makes me a little
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wiser, which helps. growing older is not for grow oldert if you at the same time you grow in wisdom and knowledge and you have a sense you are part of a long evolution, it is very helpful. as a christian, the bible i read tells the story of king one day.who asked for he wanted wisdom. 41 eight. -- for one thing. he wanted wisdom. you are a wise person. you talk about gaining in wisdom. how do we get more wise as we
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get older? first ring is to recognize every crisis is a danger and an opportunity. are not like a school of fish. they do not all react in the same way. radicals tend to the government as a mass. i think they are very different people some people are paralyzed. some people want to do something but do not know what to do. people think very creatively, and the task of an organizer is to nurture people >> what motivates you to get out of bed? >> what i have to do. tavis: what is it you still have
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if i am> i do not know going to go gently into that night. tavis: you are ok with having more work to do? >> i don't know. i have to think about it. retrospect, are you content with the life you have lived? i think i would be remiss if i i am.ot, so tavis: so are we. i have waited a long time to get you on camera. i am delighted to have you on this show.
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this documentary you have to see. what more can i say. i think this is a teaser of what i suspect will be an award- winning documentary celebrating this legend. that is it for tonight. as always, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with stephen steals. in aareer is celebrated four cd set called carried on. >> there is a saying that dr.
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king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i try to live my life every day by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminating hunger and we have work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more.
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a plan to use eminent dough nine fight foreclosures in richmond reemps wall street. the debate over employee unions and their role in today's economy. chevron will paper $2 million to last year's refinery blaze that sent thousands to hospitals and some capital school districts get to say no thanks to the federal no child left behind program. plus, remembering pioneering bay area sculpture ruth asawa, coming up next.

Tavis Smiley
PBS August 10, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PDT

News/Business. Grace Lee Boggs. (2013) Grace Lee Boggs, writer and activist. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Detroit 17, Grace Lee Boggs 3, Philip Randolph 2, Martin Luther King 2, Franklin D Roosevelt 1, Jimmy Boggs 1, Randolph 1, Jimmy 1, Soviet Union 1, RÜgen 1, Fdr 1, Obama 1, Chrysler 1, Movement City 1, Chevron 1, Smiley 1, Lee Boggs 1, Tavis Smiley 1, Germany Stoppedn 1, New York 1
Network PBS
Duration 00:31:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
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Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 8/10/2013